Age differences in the contingent negative variation (CNV): Reduced frontal activity in the elderly

H. J. Michalewski, L. W. Thompson, D. B D Smith, J. V. Patterson, T. E. Bowman, Debra Litzelman, G. Brent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The effects of distraction on the contingent negative variation (CNV) were investigated in a group of 11 elderly (X = 72.2 years) and a group of 12 young (X = 23.3 years) subjects. Scalp electrical activity was recorded from midline sites at frontal, central, and parietal locations. Three experimental conditions included Recall, No Recall, and Control situations. In the Recall, or distraction condition, spoken consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) letters were presented concurrently with the CNV signal interval and were recalled by the subjects after each trial. The No Recall condition was similar to the Recall task except that subjects were not required to repeat the CVCs. The Control condition presented a standard S1 - S2 CNV situation without CVCs. Amplitudes of the CNV, reaction times (RTs), and heart rate (HR) served as indices of distraction. The effects of distraction for both age groups indicated reduced CNVs, lengthened RTs, and elevated HRs. However, a significant age by electrode interaction revealed that while CNV amplitudes at central and parietal sites were comparable between age groups, amplitudes at the frontal placement were consistently reduced in the elderly compared to the young in all conditions. The finding of diminished frontal activity, as measured by the CNV, suggests a process of selective cortical aging and possible cellular loss which may be linked to performance deficits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-549
Number of pages8
JournalJournals of Gerontology
Volume35
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

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Contingent Negative Variation
Reaction Time
Age Groups
Cell Aging
Scalp
Electrodes
Heart Rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging

Cite this

Michalewski, H. J., Thompson, L. W., Smith, D. B. D., Patterson, J. V., Bowman, T. E., Litzelman, D., & Brent, G. (1980). Age differences in the contingent negative variation (CNV): Reduced frontal activity in the elderly. Journals of Gerontology, 35(4), 542-549.

Age differences in the contingent negative variation (CNV) : Reduced frontal activity in the elderly. / Michalewski, H. J.; Thompson, L. W.; Smith, D. B D; Patterson, J. V.; Bowman, T. E.; Litzelman, Debra; Brent, G.

In: Journals of Gerontology, Vol. 35, No. 4, 1980, p. 542-549.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Michalewski, HJ, Thompson, LW, Smith, DBD, Patterson, JV, Bowman, TE, Litzelman, D & Brent, G 1980, 'Age differences in the contingent negative variation (CNV): Reduced frontal activity in the elderly', Journals of Gerontology, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 542-549.
Michalewski HJ, Thompson LW, Smith DBD, Patterson JV, Bowman TE, Litzelman D et al. Age differences in the contingent negative variation (CNV): Reduced frontal activity in the elderly. Journals of Gerontology. 1980;35(4):542-549.
Michalewski, H. J. ; Thompson, L. W. ; Smith, D. B D ; Patterson, J. V. ; Bowman, T. E. ; Litzelman, Debra ; Brent, G. / Age differences in the contingent negative variation (CNV) : Reduced frontal activity in the elderly. In: Journals of Gerontology. 1980 ; Vol. 35, No. 4. pp. 542-549.
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